Celebrate Shorebirds at the May 11-12 Sea Islands Shorebird Festival!

Register now for the Evening Programs and Breakfast. Registration cutoff is May 5!

American Oystercatcher

Spaces are still available for:

  • Birder’s Breakfast – Thursday, May 11, 9:00-10:00 am – The Sandcastle, Kiawah Island
  • Red Knot Reception – Thursday, May 11, 5:30-7:30 pm – The Sandcastle, Kiawah Island
  • *Feather Fest – Friday, May 12, 12:00-4:00 pm – Kiawah Island Municipal Center
  • Birds of the Inlet – Friday, May 12, 7:00-9:00 pm – The Lake House, Seabrook Island

Preregistration is required. Use the QR codes below to register for these programs and view the festival website:

When registering, look for these three programs on the menu: Birder’s Breakfast, Red Knot Reception, Birds of the Inlet. There is space available to attend each. Bypass all the bird walks on the menu that say “sold out.”

*Feather Fest is open to all – no preregistration is required. 

Sea Islands Festival and Program Highlights

The first-ever Sea Islands Shorebird Festival will be held May 11 and 12, 2023, on Seabrook and Kiawah Islands. Join conservationists, researchers, and outdoor enthusiasts to celebrate our coastal birds and learn how we can make a difference in protecting their vulnerable populations. The Festival’s informative programs will highlight the amazing lives of Red Knots and other migrating and nesting shorebirds that depend on the critical habitat that our beaches provide.

The Festival kicks off Thursday with the Birder’s Breakfast, 9:00 -10:00 am at The Sandcastle on Kiawah Island. Participants will enjoy light refreshments and coffee, learn about the unique geography of Seabrook and Kiawah Islands, and our islands’ significance for the survival of shorebirds. While mingling with fellow conservationists, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the festival with exciting visuals of the area’s beautiful bird life – all from the comfort of a beachfront porch!

The Red Knot Reception, Thursday, 5:30-7:30 pm at The Sandcastle on Kiawah Island, will include wine, hors d’oeuvres, and learning more about Red Knots. The evening will provide in-depth knowledge through presentations, a new short-film documentary, and a panel discussion from coastal bird experts in the southeast. The audience will be able to participate in the panel discussion and socialize with these experts.

From 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm Friday, the family-friendly Feather Fest will continue the celebration with local artists, photographers, painters, authors, and crafters showcasing the magnificent beauty of these animals through various mediums. This event will be at the Kiawah Island Municipal Center. Enjoy food from the Smokin’ Gringo’s food truck, participate in outdoor kid’s activities and revel in the creativity of the vendors as you learn more about shorebird conservation.

The finale to the Festival is the Birds of the Inlet Reception on Friday, 7:00 – 9:00 pm at The Lake House on Seabrook Island. This program will feature four different speakers, each unveiling a different aspect of the importance of the local habitat for coastal birds. Along with a wealth of ornithological knowledge and the region’s best biologists, the evening will also include after-dinner bites and refreshments.


The lineup of expert speakers for the Festival and evening programs includes:

  • Felicia Sanders – Coastal Bird Program Coordinator, SC Department of Natural Resources
  • Abby Sterling – Georgia Bight Shorebird Conservation Initiative Director, Manomet
  • Benjamin Clock – Multimedia Conservationist, Clock Conservation Multimedia
  • Aaron Given – Assistant Wildlife Biologist, Town of Kiawah
  • Janet Thibault – Wildlife Biologist, SC Department of Natural Resources
  • Melissa Chaplin – Endangered Species Biologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Maina Handmaker – PhD Candidate, University of Massachusetts- Amherst

Wilson’s Plover

Register today! See you at the festival May 11 and 12!

Black Skimmer

-Submitted by SIB

(Image credit: Ed Konrad)